Showing 676 - 696 of 696 comments
Around the time “Tom Jones” was playing at Cinema 1 (and possibly concurrently at Cinema II), I recall the star of that film (presumably Albert Finney)appearing as the mystery guest on “What’s My Line?” Panelist Dorothy Kilgallen figured out who it was (as a newspaper columnist she always knew who was in town beating the drums for a movie)and asked in her most chi-chi manner if the mystery guest had a new movie opening at theaters “we” (she and her friends) affectionately refer to as “Chinema 1 and Chinema 2.” She was correct in identifying the mystery guest. But in my dozens of visits to those auditoriums from 1967 on, when I finally started spending all of my vacation time in New York, I could never enter them or even walk past those theaters without recalling how “in” she made them sound with her hoity-toity pronunciation “Chinema.” Among the many films I saw there were “Sophie’s Choice” and “Cries and Whispers.” – Ed Blank
Starting June 17, 1969, when this theater was called the Eden, it hosted a long pre-Broadway-area engagement of “Oh! Calcutta.” – Ed Blank
The only movie I’ve ever seen in a D.C. theater was “Bad Day at Black Rock” at Loew’s Palace early in 1954. A memorable occasion. – Ed Blank
It seems to me the theater was new, or nearly so, when I was stationed at Fort Gordon 1965-66. I saw “Help!” there the day I arrived in Augusta, which was the day before I needed to sign in on post and to begin active duty. I sat through “Help!” twice to kill time. Nice theater. Later I saw “Lord Love a Duck” there. I remember that the first Augusta engagement of “My Fair Lady” was a mere two-week engagement, whereas “The Sound of Music” was booked there for an open-ended – and long – engagement. – Ed Blank
The Roxy played “A Hole in the Head” for several weeks in the summer of 1959. Beautiful theater. I’d rank it second only to the Warner/Warren in Atlantic City in the 1950s. — Ed Blank
Among the movies that played the Apollo was “The Five Pennies” in the summer of 1959. – Ed Blank
In the summer of 1961 the Strand had the Deborah Karr-Gary Cooper thriller (his final movie) “The Naked Edge.” The theater participated in a gimmick that United Artists encouraged all first-run theaters to use for “The Naked Edge.” No one was allowed top enter the theater during the final 13 (terrific) minutes. A long queue formed outside during evening performances while a flashing red lightbulb signaled that the climax of the picture inside was in progress. I loved the picture. Still do. Saw it one night at the Strand alone and then dragged my folks along the next night so I could see it again. I made a point of arriving early enough to participate in waiting and watching that red bulb. Fond memories. – Ed Blank
Whenever I visited A.C. in the summers from 1954-61, the Beach always had the biggest Columbia picture available at that time including “Anatomy of a Murder” (summer of 1959) and “The Guns of Navarone” (summer of 1961). — Ed Blank
I recall the Warner/Warren as being the most beautiful of all Atlantic City theaters when my family was vacationing there annually in the 1950s. I was always eager to see what was playing there when we got to town. An oddity: During the summer of 1956 the theater played “Pardners” (Martin & Lewis) and “Moby Dick” on alternate weeks, apparently to encourage two visits by vacationers regardless of when they arrived. – Ed Blank
Speaking of “Smokey and the Bandit” failing at RCMH after being a blockbuster in other parts of the country, I recall being surprised to find that some (many?) John Wayne movies opened later in Manhattan than in other parts of the country. It was as if they avoided New York reviews on the assumption, probably based on a lot of precedent, that they’d be less favorable in NYC than anywhere else. Wayne was huge almost everywhere. I gather that was relatively less true in NYC. And how weird that “The Cowboys,” of all Wayne movies, should get a RCMH booking. It was, I think, easily the most mean-spirited movie in which he had participated and the only one I outright dislike. – Ed Blank
Thank you very much for that list, Al Alvarez. Things sure did change at RCMH in the 1970s, didn’t they? In earlier decades, many of those movies would have premiered at the neighborhoods on double bills. — Ed Blank
Great illustrations, Warren. Just to see the interior brings back vivid memories. On a 1973 visit to Little Carnegie, I caught a small film called “I Love You, Rosa” at a crowded weekend performance and sitting close to the right front exit gawking at wall ornament looming over the exit. At the time I saw “Faces” there, I remember reading a John Cassavetes interview in which he said he wanted to book his pride and joy there because he had worked in Little Carnegie many years earlier. – Ed Blank
These Cinema Treasures blogs really are a treasure. It is with no lack of gratitude that I concur with those who say it would be wonderful if we could access each theater’s blog under any and all of the theater’s identities. Very often I cannot remember what a theater was called in its final years. I had forgotten, for example, that the Trans-Lux East was called the Gotham at the tail end. Sure wish it were possible to cross-reference them so that a blog would pop up under any of the (correct) IDs we type in. But thank you, one and all, for what we have. – Ed Blank
Hi, Al, I had found, and did print out, that entry in addition to yours. Thanks for making sure I saw it. Still need to fill in 1975-79 when the programming became more irregular, I guess. I’ve enjoyed immensely going over the lists and noting precisely how many movies I saw at RCMH. Have been looking up every one of the dozens of Manhattan moviehouses I frequented in visits from 1955, starting with “Mr. Roberts” at RCMH, through the spring of 2006. I loved and miss much the era when Manhattan was loaded with classic rep houses. I appreciate the hundreds of great blog notes by you and Warren and many others and love hearing about the double bills people saw at various sites. – Ed Blank
AlAlvarez, Were you ever able to compile a list of RCMH movies and their opening dates from “Scrooge” through “The Promise” in 1979? – Ed Blank
Attended St. Marks only once, in the 1970s, for a sensational double bill of “The Last of Sheila” and “Strangers on a Train.” – Ed Blank
As a visitor to New York, I saw a few movies at the Victoria. The last time I was in there, seeing a blaxploitation film whose name I cannot call to mind at the moment, I spotted a rodent — never a good sign for a theater that hopes to maintain an audience. Not long afterward, the Victoria was history. Other theaters where rodents were visible – the Criterion in its dilapidated final years and the Embassy 2-3-4, which was a nest of rodents by then. I spoke with the ticket taker who explained that it was the reason cats roamed freely in the theater. I also coped with cats, but never actually spotted a rodent, at the Elgin Theater (now the Joyce) when it was still playing double bills of revivals such as “Lady From Shanghai.”
Someone named AlAlvarez did a terrific job of posting all regular engagement RCMH movies from “The Bitter Tea of General Yen” through “Scrooge” at the end of 1970. Did he or anyone else ever post a listing of all movies from “Scrooge” through “The Promise” in the spring of 1979? Thank you. – Ed Blank, retired film critic in Pittsburgh
The Schenley opened either Oct. 21, 1914, or Aug. 30, 1924. A trade story indicated the original capacity at 2100. It was located at 3960 Forbes Avenue and was the largest theater in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. It was razed around the late 1950s. On the site is the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library. — Ed Blank
The Melrose is now the Melrose Medical Center.
The Enright was not on Liberty Avenue. It was at 5820 (or 5806) Penn Avenue in East Liberty. After sporadic closings in the 1950s, it closed permanently June 8, 1958.
It was an exceptionally large neighborhood theater with 3200-3300 seats.
— Ed Blank (